growingwildthings on Instagram

katrien

Living a slow, handmade life in an old italian farmhouse with 3 sweet boys, a flock of well loved woollies and the man I love

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When you go out to forage the first wild mint and lemon balm, and you find a hidden patch of stinging nettles too! • I always like to gather the top leaves of these plants early in the season, even the ones growing in the wild... {yes, I actually keep track of where ALL the wild herbs grow in the meadows and fields surrounding the house... 🙈 and Yes, I actually go out to prune them... 🙈🙈} But it's so worth it, because pruning them early on makes the plant double up and continue their growth twofold... 🌱🌱 And besides that, it always feels like we're celebrating a bit of a spring festival when I can take those first tiny leaves home to be used in our favourite seasonal recipes! Such nourishing treats they become... like this wild nettle quiche ... it's really easy to make, tastes delicious {the boys looove it}, and it contains all the magical spring superpowers you're likely to find yourself craving after a long, dark winter! Win-Win-Win, right?! 🌱🌞✨ • • • • • • • #nourishingfood #eatgreen #plantbased #stingingnettle #wildfoodlove #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #foodfotography #embracingtheseasons #seasonalliving #springmood #darlingdaily #nothingisordinary #livemoremagic #thefeedfeed #theartofslowliving

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A bit of naptime quiet as one reads through the big Atlas, and the other adds a few felted chicks to our seasonal wreath after we discovered a second one of our chickens has decided to hatch a clutch of pretty green eggs... And me; I sit and watch them from afar, relishing the sweet laziness of a sunny afternoon {suddenly reminded of what summer days are like}, while I knit a little test for a root baby bonnet pattern I'd like to publish SOON! But more about that later... Now I'm just going to get up to make myself a cup of tea {hoping not to break the spell}, and then sneak back to my spot to soak up some more of that balmy quiet... • • • • • • #livethelittlethings #embracingtheseasons #springmood #darlingdaily #nothingisordinary #verilymoment #momentsofmine #livemoremagic #thehappynow #mybeautifulmess #calmversation

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Hanging out with my little sweet pea; planting {and watering} some new strawberries ... we also turned part of the vegetable garden to prepare for this year's summer crops... and I couldn't possibly think of a nicer way to spend the day... especially since today is #EarthDay! And even though I really think that every single day should be Earth Day, there's never a bad reason to remember and celebrate just how privileged we are to be the caretakers of this miracle planet of ours! And so we sow and water and plant; and carefully engage in the amazing exchange that will ultimately nourish our bodies, and our hearts! • • • • • • #organicgardening #gardeningwithkids #growyourownfood #earthday2018 #thehappynow #folkvibe #embracingtheseasons #stayandwander #folkgood #livethelittlethings #folkgreen #whp🌲

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It's been a bit silent around here as last Saturday my grandmother passed away, and I really felt the need to log off and fully immerse myself in the life with our little ones; to take the time to grieve the end of a long, full life; and to truly celebrate all the new life that has been growing and showing all around us these days... And at the end of these sun-soaked april days; here we are... with a dozen kinds of dirt under our fingers nails and dust in our hair; our skin already showing the glow of days spent entirely outdoors, and my heart overflowing with gratitude for a million little things... LIFE itself not being the least of them. • • • • • #feelingthankful #embracingtheseasons #countingmyblessings #naturelovers #earthday2018 #EarthDay #folkgood #whp🌲

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Friday afternoon and Francesco has taken the boys out for bike rides and visits to friends... and so here I am in my little windy workshop, wearing sweaters on sweaters for the cold, enjoying the silence, and making a few last stitches on this little girl's pretty overalls... and then hopefully I'll still have some time to work on a few of her friends as well! • I've been having so much fun working on these sweet dolls lately; marvelling at who they become as I slowly work on them... and so I was thinking to make a few extra for the shop sometime soon... But more about that later! Off I go now, to make the best of this precious gift of time! I hope you're all having a wonderful Friday... ♡ • • • • #waldorfdoll #waldorfpuppe

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I often feel like the very best toys we ever got our boys were an unlimited supply of sticks and stones and lots of water. All the rest seem to be the fancy extra's... except for books; books are the one area where we choose not to be minimalists • Ever since the twins were tiny, a lot of our day evolves around reading and storytelling... stories are what build their dreams and fuel their games; they're tiny sparks with the power to ignite the great fire of imagination; they hold the spell to turn a difficult moment into a magical one, and are what accompanies them to bed every single night... • Now, I have often been asked what books we read to our children; or what books are the ones that give life to their imaginative play... and so here it is; I've compiled a list of some of our current favourites... • • Happy reading! ✨🌿 {& don't forget to tell me what your favourites are as well! I always love to get some new suggestions for our book collection...} • • •°• "The complete "Brambly Hedge" Jill Barklem •°• "The complete tales of Beatrix Potter" •°• "The bear's water picnic", J.Yeoman & Q. Blake •°• "The fairies' cook" by Shirley Barber •°• "The story of a seagull and the cat who taught her to fly", by Luis Sepulveda •°• The fantastic Mr Fox", by Roald Dahl •°• "Emil", "The tomte and the fox" by A. Lindgren •°• "De heksenfee", by Brigitte Minne and Carll Cneut •°• "Tatatoeks reis naar de kristalgeberg" by Jakob Streit •°•"Pluk van de Petteflet" Annie N.G. Schmidt •°•"Meneer Macaroni gaat picknicken" Max Velthuijs & Jocelyn Wild •°•"Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi with illustrations by Quentin Gréban •°• "Van lente tot zomer" & "Van herfst tot winter" by Lidwien van Geffen •°•The 4 seasons series by Gerda muller •°• "Peter in Blueberry land", " Pelle's new suit", " Woody, Hazel & Little Pip", " Children of the forest", "Ollie's ski trip" & "The land of long ago", all by Elsa Beskow •°•... • • PS. Francesco and I read both in Italian and in Dutch {my native language}, but I've looked up the titles in English for you! {Titles in the original language unfortunately don't seem to be available in an english translation...}

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After the rain {and jùst before the next round}; out to water the plants... and the stones... and most importantly; the puddles! • Oh my this little man... I blinked and there he is... 18 months old. And even though I sometimes feel a little tug at my heart because he really isn't a baby anymore, I can't deny it brings me unimaginable joy to discover the little person he's growing into... And what a little person he is! He truly has a mind of his own... Happiest outside... {he often brings us his little coat, or his tiny boots, long before any of us have even had breakfast}... and whenever he is outside, he's carrying that little blue watering can... His favourite animals are the lambs in the barn. And his very first words {after mama, papa and his own little word for his two big brothers} was "ei", which means egg and "coco" for chicken... My little boy. There's already so much of the farm in him... ♡

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The weather is taking a wee break from watering the land {it's been going on for days!}... And off they go! They're going to one of their favourite places to play no doubt; out there by the hollow tree that goes back and forth between being a fox hole and a magical gnome house, or down by the "river" {a water canal that runs alongside the track to the main road}, which now ends in a glorious delta of cascades... And as I watch them run off like that; giggling and chatting casually about who will be who in the next chapter of their role-play, I am once again reminded of a message I received here a long time ago. It was from a mother whose children also grew up out on a farm, and -so she wrote- now many years later, no matter where her children go and no matter what they do, she always sees the farm in them... I tried to find the post and the comment, so I could do that mother the honour to credit her, but I somehow couldn't find it... Yet her words have been with us more than I can possibly say throughout these past few years... in good times... and in not so good times as well. Because even if this country life isn't always easy for us grown-ups, I just knòw now that wherever our boys may go, and whatever they may come to do, we will always see the farm in them. And thàt my friends, that makes it worth every bit of worries, and every single sacrifice! • And so a special thank you to that mother... {do let me know if you happen to read this!}, and a heartfelt thank you to the rest of you too! Because even though I don't know many of you personally, and even though I often don't find the time to respond to each of you individually, the words and the love you send us here through this funny little app, are always received with the most humble sense of gratitude! LOVE, k.

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Dirty hands and Happy Hearts; I sometimes think that this should be our official family moto... 😅 • Anyway, I got a bunch of questions about our eggshell planters through my private messages, and so I thought I'd answer them here.... We used the blown-out eggs we had decorated the house with for Easter, but of course you can use any kind of eggs you save from your kitchen adventures... Don't worry about jagged or irregular edges... all you need is about half a shell. Using a sharp knife point or a needle, poke a smalle hole in the bottom of the shell {for drainage}, fill for about 2/3 with potting or seeding soil. Add a few seeds and cover with another teaspoon of soil • Later when the seedlings are big and strong enough to be transferred out into the garden {usually after they have grown their first real leaves}, you can simply plant them with the eggshells. The shells will decompose and even add some valuable minerals such as calcium to the soil! {Win-Win!} • I only recommend cracking the bottom of the eggshell a little bit before planting it {and perhaps even removing a few shards}, so the roots have freedom to grow... • And that's that! Easy peasy! Even the tiniest hands could really help with this... But it's been a really fun way to give a new life to our Easter decorations, and to turn the page to a new chapter of this season's celebrations! 🌿

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The happy mess as we upcycle the blown out eggs that used to decorate our seasonal table over the Easter holidays. We carefully broke the top off the eggs and then transformed them into whimsical {and sustainable!} little planters in which to start our garden seeds... The boys really loved this little transformation "craft", and so we just made a whole bunch of them! Beebalm, and marigolds... and giant sunflowers as well! • Now who could ever say no to a day that ends with Dirty Hands and Happy Hearts?

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... and after the long dark winter, suddenly there is spring; reluctant at first... but then - one day - wild and full of promises • I usually love all the seasons; the way one gives way to the next in their never-ending waltz; slow but steady... the predictiveness of their rhythm a balm for my sometimes restless soul - their unique gifts a gentle reminder to live in the now... But this year spring has arrived late, and I've been yearning for it more than I ever have; sighing with each added winter day... And so I can hardly contain my excitement as I notice how suddenly the new season has sprung into full bloom, and the backdrop of our lives here on our windy hill colours greener with each passing night... Oh yes my friends, spring is here! Full of music and poetry, and hope! ♡

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We just said goodbye to @mama_2thelittleones and her wonderful family -after spending the past week together- and the house feels so so very empty now... But as we say our sad goodbyes, I just know we'll both treasure the promise to soon meet up again; and the memories of egg hunts and late night chats, and our two sets of darling twins playing together; somehow bridging that invisible language barrier the way only children can... And as our friends make their way back North, I scroll through the photographs Esther has taken of us as she spent time here with us on the farm and I realize I will never be able to thank her enough for this beautiful gift. They weren't posed or planned, but show glimpses of our daily life as it unfolds in all its golden truth; with tired eyes and messy buns; mismatched outfits, evading sheep, and accidental naps... but they are all just so, so incredibly beautiful... •♡• And so here is one of my absolute favourites.... #meforonce, in one frame with my three boys... something that happens very rarely... so thank you for that! @mama_2thelittleones

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